Florida Senator Introduces Bill That Would Make Abortions Illegal After Heartbeat Detection
A Florida state Senator introduced a bill that would ban abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detected.
The bill was filed by State Sen. Dennis Baxley, a Republican, on Feb. 6. The bill would make it a felony for any person who “knowingly or purposefully performs or induces an abortion on a pregnant woman with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of the unborn human being whose fetal heartbeat has been detected.”
The legislation is similar to a bill that passed in Ohio late last year before being vetoed by outgoing Gov. John Kasich.
New Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine vowed recently to sign the bill if it was reintroduced and passed, noting that it would definitely be challenged in court by pro-abortion groups but that the decision on its legality would ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.
“It’s time for us to face our history of the last 46 years and the 60 million faces of our offspring that we have extinguished,” Baxley said in a statement. “The heartbeat has always been the clear signal of the presence of life, and that life must be protected.”
He said that the election of Gov. Ron DeSantis gives lawmakers an opportunity to pass the bill.
“I think we have a great opportunity this year,” said Baxley. “Our new Governor, Ron DeSantis has expressed support for meaningful pro-life legislation, so I don’t think we’ll run in to the same issues that Ohio did.”
DeSantis said in June 2018 while campaigning that he would sign pro-life legislation.
SB 792 is identical to HB 235 (pdf), which was filed in the state’s House of Representatives in January by Rep. Mike Hill, a Republican.
The bills have limited exceptions, including if a woman’s life is in danger.
Currently, it’s legal to get abortions up to 24 weeks after conception.
Hill told Capitol News Service that a fetal heartbeat can usually be detected after 18 days but pro-abortion Planned Parenthood said it couldn’t be detected until six weeks.
“We think we can start overturning a lot of these abortion rulings that are killing the unborn,” said Hill. “My oath said that I would protect life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Life being the first one.”